Shmita is... Mindfulness Wisdom Tradition Contemplation
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As Jews, we are instructed to give a portion of our resources to those in need every year. But every seventh year the Shmita year heralds a year of release for the land, along with the canceling of all debt. It also challenges and inspires us to approach how we share our financial resources in new ways. In this Shmita year of 2020–2021, let us lean into Jewish tradition’s powerful framework for thinking about wealth as abundant, inherently collective, and transformative.
The goal and purpose of the Torah covenant, for society as a whole, is that the Israelites will observe the Shmitah (Sabbatical) year, and that in doing so, they will repair the relationship with the Earth that was destroyed in the generations leading up to the flood. Essentially, the covenant with Abraham is meant to take one people and one land, and put them in a right relationship with each other, in order to create a model for how humanity should live. That model is found in the observance of Shmitah and the Jubilee.
An essay by Rabbi Arthur Waskow that contextualizes Shmita in relation to other Jewish festivals, and deepens our connection with the natural world.
In this 3-part series, Jeremy Benstein and Shira Hecht-Koller from 929 and Shamu Sadeh of Hazon discuss how Jewish tradition frames the human relationship with the natural world, using texts from the Hebrew Bible and rabbinic stories.
In this 3-part series, Jeremy Benstein and Shira Hecht-Koller from 929 and Nigel Savage from Hazon explore the many dimensions of the Shmita tradition, as well as share the lessons, insights, and aspirations it offers about society, the economy, and the environment.
Resources from One Table to infused you Shabbat table with Shmita. Every seven days, we’re gifted the beautiful wellness ritual of Shabbat — a day to pause, relax, reflect, and rejuvenate. And, every seven years, we’re gifted Shmita — an entire “sabbatical” year where (biblically speaking) we are encouraged to let the agricultural land rest, free debts in society, and resolve any inequities that may have grown. It is (or could be) a year to restore. Starting on Rosh Hashanah this year (Sept. 6, 2021), think of it as Shabbat on the grandest scale and an opportunity for us to restore ourselves and the earth.